By Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications
Appeal Court Judge presiding over cases at the Sexual Offences Model Court, Hon. Justice Alhaji Mohamed Momo-Jah Stevens (JA) has yesterday sentenced Joseph Lamin, a Charcoal Burner, to life imprisonment for destroying the virginity and anus of a 9-year-old pupil in a ‘gang rape.’
According to the particulars of offence, Joseph Lamin who was residing at York Road in Waterloo, on the 28th day of July, 2020 engaged in an act of sexual penetration of one Mary Wilson (not real name), a child. He was brought before the Sexual Offences Model Court for sexual penetration contrary to section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act No. 12 of 2012 as repealed and replaced by section 4 of the Sexual Offences (amendment) Act of 2019, Act No. 8 of 2019.
Representing the victim, state counsel MP Sesay, applied for trial by a Judge alone instead of a Judge and Jury pursuant to Section 144 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 as repealed and replaced by section 3 of the Criminal Procedure (amendment) Act of 1981. His application was granted.
The Medical report endorsed by Dr. O. Claudius-Cole revealed that the victim was in severe pain and was immediately rushed to the theatre room for surgery. It further revealed that there were several bruises on her cheeks and the left side of her face close to the mouth.
“Hymen was completely ruptured and the vaginia and anus was just one big hole. The rectum and anus were torn,” the medical report stated.
In her testimony, the victim told the court that after they were attacked by three unknown persons at around 3am in the morning, she escaped and took refuge in a nearby makeshift structure but she was chased by the accused person and two of his colleagues.
She went on to explain that she was ‘gang-raped’ wherein her virginity was destroyed. According to her, the two others ran away but the police later apprehended accused Mohamed Lamin. She said after the surgery, she was later hospitalised for one month and two weeks.
Four witnesses testified including the police investigator from the Water Police Family Support Unit who explained their visit to the crime scene.
Accused Joseph Lamin who pleaded not guilty relied on his statement at the police and there was no witness to that effect. He was represented by C. Taylor Young from the Legal Aid Board who later made his plea in mitigation.
Delivering his Judgment, Hon. Justice Momo-Jah Stevens said the accused is guilty as charged and the prosecution has proved its case. He referenced the case of Woolmington Versus DPP and re-emphasised that the accused is guilty. He sentenced accused Joseph Lamin to life imprisonment based on the following aggravating factors; the accused committed the offence in the company of another person or persons, before or after the commission of the offence the accused used a weapon (knife) to threaten the victim and in the process caused bodily harm victim, and that the victim’s anus and virginity were destroyed.